Lest we forget

“Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper was a stunning artistic installation that marked the centenary of the First World War. 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and Colonial life lost in the war, were displayed in the moat of the Tower of London before being sold to raise money for six charities.

WeClick Media was tasked with designing an online experience to sell the poppies while respecting the emotion and sentiment of the First World War centenary and the installation.

Our initial research showed some of those most interested in the poppies weren’t regular web users, which meant our focus was on making the journey as simple as possible. But as a high profile project, we needed a scalable solution that could handle millions of visitors without jeopardising the integrity, security and availability of the site.

“From the very start of the project, WeClick quickly understood the technology and the content challenges. Their professionalism, dedication and commitment was a key aspect to the overall success”.

Nigel Randall, Head of Information Systems at Historic Royal Palaces

Our solution was to develop the website, payment integration and order processing environment as standalone modules that sat across multiple servers. This meant we could develop everything in parallel to meet tight timelines, while our monitoring system could bring more servers online to cope with additional traffic before anything failed.

The website saw over six million visits, 46,000 shares on Facebook and £150,000 in donations to the six charities. The poppies also sold out quickly, with six sales a second at its peak. Despite the high traffic, our load-balanced solution was able to keep running.

We created an online poppy mosaic that was comprised of donations in memory of loved ones who served the country.

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